See, e.g, David Broder, Term-Limits Juggernaut May Flatten Some Unintended Victims, CH.TRID., Oct. 17, 1991, § 1, at 27 (op-ed) ("Fed by the fury at the Senate's late-night pay raise, theHouse check-bouncing scandal and even the gruesome Clarence Thomas hearings, the term-limitsmovement is running ... strongly ....); William Neikirk, Poisonous Politics Erodes Citizens'Faith, CHI. TRIB., Oct. 13, 1991, § 1, at 1, 4 ("Term limitation, once considered a fringe idea,gains in political respectability with each new scandal or with each new failure by Congress andthe Bush administration to deal with pressing domestic issues ...."); William Safire, Hail to theHouse, N.Y. TIMES, Oct. 7, 1991 (nat'l ed.), at Al 3 (op-ed) ("Term limitation is the specter thatis haunting the House, and scandal is the two-by-four that gets the attention of the most mulish
2 DEPAUL LAW RE VIEW [Vol. 41:1list fervor and its accompanying debate on editorial pages across America,over 96% of both House and Senate incumbents were reelected in 1990.5Many people still believe that some sort of congressional election reform isnecessary.6 Voters seem to love their individual representatives while they hateCongress. This ambivalent relationship between Congress and the peoplereveals a sense that our government has a deep, systemic problem, but bothCongress and the people lack the will to do anything about it.Without diminishing its importance, the popular "feeling" that Congress isinept is not enough to justify a radical change such as limiting congressionalterms. A more rational and deliberate dialogue is needed to muster deep andbroad popular support to change the Constitution. Indeed, to consider limitingcongressional tenure is to consider changing the very legal and institutionalframework by which laws themselves are made. Such a proposal should beapproached earnestly and thoughtfully by both the "everyday" people ofAmerica and the political and intellectual elite.7This Article is intended as a step in the direction of a rational dialogueabout term limits, and contains three stages. Part I lays the interpretive foun-dation for an institutional analysis of Congress by exploring the theoreticalunderpinnings of representative legislation. The Constitution will be exploredtextually and historically to discover Congress' original constitutional man-date. Part I will argue that the Constitution requires representative legislationto reflect two fundamental principles: legitimacy, meaning that members ofCongress should meet several normative selection criteria; and effectiveness,meaning that legislation should occur in a procedural framework of legitimacyand deliberation to create policy that embodies the national interest.8member.").5. Chuck Alston, Warning Shots Fired by Voters More Mood Than Moderate, 48 CONG.